Immaterial Labour and Reality TV: The Affective Surplus of Excess

Johanssen, J. 2017. Immaterial Labour and Reality TV: The Affective Surplus of Excess. in: Briziarelli M. and Armano E. (ed.) The Spectacle 2.0: Reading Debord in the Context of Digital Capitalism London University of Westminster Press. pp. 197-208

Chapter titleImmaterial Labour and Reality TV: The Affective Surplus of Excess
AuthorsJohanssen, J.
EditorsBriziarelli M.
Armano E.
Abstract

Drawing on discussions of neoliberalism, immaterial labour and exploitation of reality television participants, this article argues that the patients on the British reality show ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ are exploited because they receive no monetary return for their performances and are frequently shamed on camera. It then seeks to theorize exploited labour on reality television through Debord’s notion of the Spectacle. The author argues that in contemporary reality television the Spectacle is amplified through shame and affect. This is particularly evident in programmes that are about health and the body. The spectacular labour depicted in such programmes may serve to attract audiences for entertainment purposes, as well as to discipline them so that they remain healthy and productive workers.

Keywordsaffect theory, immaterial labour, reality tv, guy debord, spectacle, embarrassing bodies
Book titleThe Spectacle 2.0: Reading Debord in the Context of Digital Capitalism
Page range197-208
Year2017
PublisherUniversity of Westminster Press
Fileimmaterial-labour-and-reality-tv-the-affective-sur.pdf
Publication dates
Published12 Dec 2017
LicenseCC BY-NC-ND 4.0
Place of publicationLondon
ISBN9781911534440
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.16997/book11.l
Web address (URL)https://www.uwestminsterpress.co.uk/site/chapters/10.16997/book11.l/

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